Chris Paul out Game 2 against Rockets

1 Comment

Doc Rivers leaned yes. Then he leaned no.

Finally, the Clippers coach announced his decision on Chris Paul.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

The Clippers surprisingly won Game 1 over the Rockets without Paul. Can lightning strike twice?

Austin Rivers exceeded expectations while starting starting Game 1, but he was still the weak link in the Clippers’ starting lineup. A stat I found telling: Clippers starters in Game 1 were:

  • Blake Griffin: +21
  • Matt Barnes: +21
  • J.J. Redick: +20
  • DeAndre Jordan: +19
  • Austin Rivers: +2

Austin’s job remains simple: Don’t try to do too much, hit spot-up 3s, apply his energy toward defense. He mostly did that in Game 1, making 4-of-6 3-pointers and getting four steals, though he still occasionally tried to do too much (three turnovers in 28 minutes).

The Clippers should continue running their offense through Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford. It might not work again, but it’s their best chance.

If the Rockets can’t win even one of two home games with Paul out, they’re almost certainly not advancing. They really need to win tonight.

For the Clippers, either way, they’ll probably go back to Los Angeles feeling good about themselves. How long that positivity lasts will depend when Paul is ready to return.